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Aerial photos of southwest Neosho County, Kansas, in the Thayer Lake area

Aerial photos of southwest Neosho County, Kansas, in the Thayer Lake area
Date: 1935-1940
These two aerial photos show southwest Neosho County, Kansas, in the area near Thayer Lake. These might have been taken before Thayer Lake was built.


A study made of 719 rural rehabilitation families relative to their standard of living

A study made of 719 rural rehabilitation families relative to their standard of living
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1935
This study was compiled by Conie Foote, supervisor of home economics, and her county home advisers. The report includes an introductory note from Foote, who states that the goal of this study is to provide the rural rehabilitation program with essential information about the needs of relief clients during the Dust Bowl years. The study addresses several questions, including: "What is the present standard of living of the families making application for rural rehabilitation loans? Is there a standard below which a family cannot live and maintain health and efficiency?" To answer these questions, the report includes statistics, such as charts documenting housing conditions, the number of applicants in each household, the items of household equipment required by relief families, and the number of persons needing medical care.


A study made of 719 rural rehabilitation families relative to their standard of living

A study made of 719 rural rehabilitation families relative to their standard of living
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1935
The Kansas Emergency Relief Committee was created in July 1932 to obtain and administer federal emergency loans made available to states through Herbert Hoover's Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932. President Franklin Roosevelt expanded on this act with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) in 1933, leading the Kansas committee to change its name to the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee (KERC). Under the direction of Kansas's new governor, Alf Landon, the KERC managed direct and work relief programs in Kansas including emergency education, transient relief, rural rehabilitation, drought relief, and a slew of public works projects including the construction of farm ponds and lakes, and the renovation and construction of public buildings, roads, and quarries. This is a brief report on the "standard of living of 719 rural rehabilitation families in Kansas."


Black Friday meets its master

Black Friday meets its master
Creator: Garden City Daily Telegram
Date: April 10, 1935
Several articles about life in the Dust Bowl can be found on the front page of this newspaper from Garden City. Articles of particular interest include two articles on "raging dusters," one on the winter wheat crop, and a brief article discussing the postponement of community meetings to distribute aid under the soil erosion program. The newspaper also includes articles about other newsworthy events occurring in Garden City and around the state of Kansas.


Campus improvement at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Campus improvement at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1935
A photograph showing improvements to the University of Kansas campus performed by relief workers. This project was administered by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee with funds from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. During the Depression when people could not find employment, both Kansas and the Federal governments preferred the use of work relief over direct subsistence payments. The workers employed by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee built public structures, lakes, planted shelterbelts, and made road improvements. The photograph was copied from Public Welfare Service In Kansas, 1935.


Canning kitchen in Wichita, Kansas

Canning kitchen in Wichita, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1934
In this photograph, both male and female workers at a Wichita canning kitchen are canning meat that will eventually be distributed to relief clients suffering during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s. This program was supervised by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee (KERC).


Case work procedure requirement

Case work procedure requirement
Creator: Stutz, John G
Date: December 28, 1933
This brief letter from John G. Stutz, executive director of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee (KERC), was addressed to county commissioners, poor commissioners, case supervisors, and county relief committees across the state of Kansas. In the letter, Stutz outlines the essential elements of the relief program, including an admonishment that there were many families in need of relief funds and that the federal government wanted to ensure that adequate relief was distributed. Stutz also points out that these programs were the responsibility of the county commissioners and poor commissioners.


Community garden in Colby, Kansas

Community garden in Colby, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 22, 1935
This is a photograph showing a man and boy with a basket of produce picked from a community garden in Colby, Kansas. The city supplied the water for irrigation. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Community gardens at Cimarron, Kansas

Community gardens at Cimarron, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 10, 1935
Here are two photographs showing the community gardens in Cimarron, Kansas. The county leased the land and provided irrigation. These photographs were removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Community gardens at Norton, Kansas

Community gardens at Norton, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 20, 1935
This is a photograph showing the community gardens in Norton, Kansas. Water for irrigation was pumped from a nearby creek. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Community gardens in Dodge City, Kansas

Community gardens in Dodge City, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 07, 1935
Here are two photographs showing the community gardens in Dodge City, Kansas. According to the Dodge City Daily Globe, these plots yielded an average of $50.00 worth of vegetables. The photographs were removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Community gardens in Ulysses, Kansas

Community gardens in Ulysses, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 09, 1935
This is a photograph showing the community gardens in Ulysses, Kansas. Water for irrigation was supplied by the city pumping plant. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Crushing rock, Lawrence, Kansas

Crushing rock, Lawrence, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1934
A photograph showing workers using machinery to crush rock near Lawrence, Kansas. This project was administered by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee with funds from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. During the Depression when people could not find employment, both Kansas and the Federal government preferred the use of work relief over direct subsistence payments. The workers paid by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee built public structures, lakes, planted shelterbelts, and made road improvements. The photograph was copied from Public Welfare Service In Kansas, 1934.


Crushing rock near Lawrence, Kansas

Crushing rock near Lawrence, Kansas
Date: 1933
This is a photograph showing workers with equipment crushing rock near Lawrence, Kansas. The project was probably part of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee.


Drought relief cattle in Kansas City, Kansas stockyards

Drought relief cattle in Kansas City, Kansas stockyards
Date: Between 1935 and 1939
This is a photograph from the report of drought cattle operations taken from the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee. The image is of cattle in the Kansas City, Kansas stockyards.


Drought relief cattle in Kansas City stockyards

Drought relief cattle in Kansas City stockyards
Date: May 1, 1935
This photograph captures one of the hardships faced by families during the Dust Bowl--starving cattle. It was taken in Kansas City, Kansas, by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, a state agency working to relieve the financial burdens of families suffering during the droughts of the 1930s. The KERC worked alongside the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which began a cattle-purchasing program in 1934. Emaciated cattle (as in this photograph) were destroyed after purchase, and healthy cattle were shipped to slaughter with the meat being distributed to poor families needing relief.


Garden grown by Roy Phelps in Sheridan County, Kansas

Garden grown by Roy Phelps in Sheridan County, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 21, 1935
This is a photograph showing a garden grown by Roy Phelps in Sheridan County, Kansas. The dam which forms the farm pond is shown in the background. Water was conveyed from the pond to the garden through the pipe across the dam. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Garden grown by relief clients in Lewis, Kansas

Garden grown by relief clients in Lewis, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 13, 1935
This is a photograph showing community gardens grown by relief clients in Lewis, Kansas. The city of Lewis furnished water from a fire hydrant to irrigate the gardens. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Garden grown by the Wiebe family in Meade County, Kansas

Garden grown by the Wiebe family in Meade County, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1935
This is a photograph of the Wiebe family and their garden in Meade, Kansas. Visible in the photograph are people with various garden tools and a child with a bicycle. The windmill in the background was built of old automobile frames costing less than $2.00 and made the irrigation of the garden possible. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Garden grown in Elk County, Kansas

Garden grown in Elk County, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: April 1935
This is a photograph showing a man working in one of the gardens grown in Elk County, Kansas. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Grant N. Dunn's garden in Haskell County, Kansas

Grant N. Dunn's garden in Haskell County, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 10, 1935
This is a photograph showing Grant N. Dunn's garden in Haskell County, Kansas. It was watered by a sub-irrigation system. Visible in the background is a house and windmill. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Henry E. Wilson's family garden in Hamilton County, Kansas

Henry E. Wilson's family garden in Hamilton County, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: August 08, 1935
This is a photograph showing Henry E. Wilson's family garden in Hamilton County, Kansas. It was irrigated from a garden pond constructed entirely by hand. The photograph was removed from the Relief Garden Program of 1935 portion of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee collection.


Home economics

Home economics
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: June 22, 1934
This bulletin, signed by John G. Stutz, executive director of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, describes their policy of encouraging home canning as part of a larger home economics project. In order to help families make the most out of their food supplies, the committee hired a Home Economics Specialist named Conie Foote to teach housewives about canning. Assistance would be provided for families on relief.


Homes and businesses in the area near the future site of the Topeka Boulevard bridge in Topeka, Kansas

Homes and businesses in the area near the future site of the Topeka Boulevard bridge in Topeka, Kansas
Date: 1935-1936
This collection of photographs shows homes and businesses in the area around the future site of the Topeka Boulevard Bridge in Topeka, Kansas. The bridge was funded by the U.S. Works Program through the department of the Kansas State Highway.


Kansas Emergency Relief Committee accomplishments movie

Kansas Emergency Relief Committee accomplishments movie
Creator: Kansas. Emergency Relief Commission
Date: 1936
This motion picture film documents the various work projects completed in Kansas during President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. It begins with an introduction to the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee personnel, starting with the executive director, John G. Stutz. It then shows the various projects across the state, including the construction of farm ponds and lakes as part of the Water Conservation Program, the renovation and construction of courthouses, schools, libraries, and other public buildings, and the weaving and sewing rooms that produced clothing for needy Kansans. It also includes footage of rabbit drives, dust storms, and women sweeping piles of dust out of their homes. Click on the thumbnails below to play each clip. Click on Text Version for a detailed description of each chapter.


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